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tv   [untitled]    December 15, 2012 8:00am-8:30am PST

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disruption concerns raised by some members of the north beach community. the challenges with option 3 include also a tight timeline in which to obtain the additional project funding, complete the additional engineering work and execute the necessary contract modifications to move this work forward. now, it is important to note that consideration of extending rail service into north beach and fisherman's wharf would be a separate effort given that funding has yet to be identified for the planning design or construction of a future station and/or line, but it is worthy to note it is currently planning a design this winter to begin the community discussions regarding such an extension. now, staff recommends as its first preference to further evaluate option 4 with a back up plan to further evaluate
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option 3 until february 1st of 2013. now, if the necessary reviews and approval cannot be obtained at this time, staff recommends that the project focus on constructing the approved retrieval shaft. thank you for the opportunity to brief you on the central subway and i'm available to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you. i have a couple. thank you for the excellent report. that has to do with the final line of this thing, if necessary approval. i assume one approval would be from the owner of the pagoda theater, a deal. probably environmental one from the city. what other ones? >> it would -- the environmental approvals from both the planning department and the federal transit administration, i met briefly with the fta this morning to discuss the topic and they're fully briefed on this report presented to you today. and i should have at least a preliminary review from the fta by the end of this week. >> those are the only three approvals -- >> and funding, and additional local funding. >> would that be the ta here
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we're talking about? >> we have not yet identified funding source. >> okay, thank you. other questions before we hear from the public? >> yes. just to clarify, 3 [speaker not understood]. it says it would be encased in concrete and it would be more difficult to continue the tunnel along if we were to continue to north beach or fisherman's wharf in the future. is that correct? >> i believe, director brinkman, you're referring to option 3. >> yes. >> the benefits of option 3, it does allow the construction of 3,000 feet of critical thank youerctionv that could make the possibility of an extension be real. >> right. >> the downside of option 3 is that in order to accommodate for north beach station, you would -- the likelihood would be that you would have to remove these machines, which
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would be from a difficult operation in the future. we're currently looking at, though, to look at ways of perhaps diverting the machines, kind of off the path so that would either minimize or, you know, prevent the need to remove these machines. >> and normally when you use a tunnel boring machine at the end of the project, that tunnel boring machine comes out and it i guess goes onto another project somewhere to dig again? >> yes. typically these machines have a useful life. the particular machine that's being used to construct the central subway are brand-new machines. so, they have a significant -- quite a bit of useful life left in them. >> all right, thank you. >> other members of the board? mr. reiskin? >> yes, i guess i want to add a bit more context and
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explanation and perhaps offer that, since we've been working very closely with supervisor chiu, justin true from his office may want to add a few words prior to public comment. but the supervisor is presenting over at a board meeting at the moment. first, i want to clarify that -- and i think this was a little bit perhaps misconstrued in some of the media reports. what we're not talking about is recommending an extension to north beach or not, or voting on a station to north beach for north beach or not. the current approved project that has, that has been fully designed, that has been funded, that has been environmentally cleared already contemplates a tunnel going to north beach. so, that's part of the current project. we're not recommending a change to that. as mr. funge mentioned,
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discussions about an extension, whether it should happen or not, what the alignment would be, where a station in north beach would be if there were to be one, would be subject to a separate process that would require its own community process, its own environmental review, its own planning, engineering design. so, i want to make it very clear that that's not what's before you today. what's before you today is a recommendation that would allow us to pursue alternatives. one, in just where we remove the tunnel boring machines half a block from where they're currently proposed to remove them, or alternately, to leave them underground. so, i just want to clarify that up front. i do want to acknowledge that the way this process developed from my understanding is that we were out in the community four years ago as the whole project in the entire e-i-r was
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going through its process, the focus was the core of the project. and while there was some i think discussion of where these machines would be going and where they would be coming out, i don't think it was a significant part of the discussion. i don't think it resonated with people. it was something far off. and once the approvals were in place, i think we kind of put our heads down and focused on getting the design work done, getting all the approvals, getting the construction contract underway. i think what we should have done better in hindsight is kept the north beach community engaged so that they weren't surprised as they were when we came back four years later and said, here we are. we're about to start tearing up columbus avenue. so, i think it's a point well taken we heard loud and clear from the community that we should have done, and from president chiu, that we should have done a much better job on that. so, i want to acknowledge that.
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so, but we did hear loud and clear from the community not just on the process issue, but on the substance of what this project would mean to the north beach community. and i think what we came down to is there are trade-offs to be made. i think the option that we're recommending that is our first choice, which is basically still enabling us to remove the machines from the ground, but doing it off of the public right-of-way. and in doing so, perhaps stimulate movement on a project that has -- a property that's become a blight to the community really represents a possible win/win scenario where we preserve the maximum flexibility for the community for whatever future extension there may be. but we are able to do so in a way that doesn't create the disruption that the current
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plan would cause which just to remind you would be nine or so months of construction on columbus avenue in front of the park that would require two lanes at a time of columbus avenue, which is four lanes, to be closed during that entire nine-month period. so, it would bring a four-lane down to two lanes. there would be, as with any construction project, there would be some, some noise and other disruption. so, i want to acknowledge that as well. we believe that we can manage the traffic flows, that we can manage the construction site. but there's no question that there will be impact from the construction as planned. moving that whole operation off of the public right-of-way takes the great majority of those construction impacts really out of the view of the majority of north beach. so, it's a great scenario if we
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can make it happen. i've talked to folks in this building and i think we have a commitment that with this board's support, we pull together all the kind of elementses of the city family from planning and economic development, the budget folks, the supervisor has already stepped in to lead on this. it would take a lot to make this happen. it's a short timeline to be able to put a deal together to identify the funding, to clear the approvals. but it definitely represents a win/win. my son is is from the community meeting and we'll certainly hear from the community directly. i think there's good support for this alternative. it will take a lot of work to make it happen. our kind of next best alternative, if we can't make that happen for whatever reason -- and let me just mention on
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the timeline why this is important and why we're kind of putting this short timeline out here. the tunnel boring machines will arrive down on fourth street in late winter this year. it will take them about a year to get to north beach. so, late winter 2014 they will be there. so, if we are under our current plan, we need that retrieval shaft built before they arrive so it can receive them so that we can pull them out. so, backtracking from there for nine or 10 months of construction and the holiday moratorium, we really need to start that work late winter of this year. so, we need to make these decisions quickly so that if we're going to bring it out off the street, we have that retrieval shaft ready, and that requires perhaps maybe a shorter time frame because we're not working in the public right-of-way. or if we are going to leave it in the ground, we have to do the redesign work to enable
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that. and then if that fails, we need to -- we would be recommending that we go back to plan a. so, the first option that we are asking for your support for is the off-site kind of win/win scenario. what we believe is the next best . this is where we may differ a little bit from what you hear in public comment. what would be to bring the machines that north beach has proposed and leave them underground. so, the trade-off there is, as mr. funge said, that there's some cost to the future project , the to-be-planned funded design project, and that leaving those machines underground encapsulated in concrete would be an additional cost for a future project should it continue up columbus avenue. but that's on the cost side. on the benefit side, we would be relieving north beach of
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that 9 or 10 months of construction impact that they would be seeing now for a project that they won't at least directly benefit from for many years down the road. so, it is a trade-off. i think it's a reasonable trade-off to make, that the point that i think you'll hear from many speakers -- and we've heard from the supervisor, it's just not fair to subject us, this neighborhood to that amount of disruption when the benefit is so far out and uncertain at that. and i think that's a reasonable position and a reasonable trade-off and that's why we are recommending that as our kind of backstop plan. if we're unable to make something happen off-site. * the final thing i think you'll hear from folks is kind of our final backstop, which is if for some reason going to the pagoda site doesn't work and for some reason we can't make leaving it
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underground work, which i don't anticipate we would have trouble doing, but we don't have that fully designed and approved, that we keep the current approved project on the table as our ultimate default. and that is because, you know, we have an approved project. it's a fully funded project. we have an executed contract. we would be putting the agency, we believe, at significant risk if we didn't have that final backstop to fall back on. it's our hope that we wouldn't get there. i saw some correspondence suggesting that we come back to you before hitting that final stop. i'm certainly open to that. i think folks would -- a you would probably want to know, that we've made our best good faith due diligence effort
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before getting there. so, i just want to provide a little bit more context. i want to thank mr. funge and his team for this. and i want to thank president chiu for his leadership on this and perhaps with the board's consent we could -- >> actually any questions for mr. reiskin first? >> yes, one more question. i was not on the board -- you weren't here either -- when we approved the original central subway. i know that the union square merchants had a lot of concerns going in and your team has worked incredibly hard to mitigate the concerns to the merchants and the shoppers and the people passing through that stockton street utility relocation work. do you anticipate that the construction, if it happened on columbus ave., would be more impactful than that one? or will you have ways that you can mitigate that construction site as well? because i'm hearing a lot of
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concerns about dust and noise. i have walked by the stockton street when it's going on on a regular basis and it doesn't seem to be that bad in terms of dust and noise, for the most part. but could you maybe talk about what can be done to mitigate the construction on columbus similar to what's been done to mitigate it on stockton? >> director brinkman, the proposed construction work or retrieval shaft on columbus is quite a bit less in terms of scope than the work at any of the other three sites along the central subway. the mitigation measures that we've successfully deployed at these sites would hold true in north beach. we have the ability to have good representation from a parking control officers who have the ability to control the signal lights to flesh through intersection to prevent back ups. we keep the sites very clean
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and comply with the city's noise and dust ordinances. and that's continually monitored. pressure washing of the sidewalks so that pedestrians don't have to deal with any intended dirt and debris, just keeping job site cleanliness and safety. those measures were -- we've successfully deployed for the utility work since we've been up there since august of this year and it's been quite successful. but the work that will be occurring in 2013 is more disruptive than what the community actually experienced from the summer till present day. the relocation, utility relocation work removed one lane of traffic on columbus and the retrieval shaft work, the actual excavation of the shaft, would take up two lanes of
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traffic between nine to 10 months in 2013. >> thank you. >> anyone else on the board? okay, director. >> in terms of exploring, is there any negative impact -- is there any negative impact to the approved project with exploring these options? especially what you have said in terms of the tight timeline and all the contingencies we've built into the resolution. >> we're doing our best to minimize any direct impact to the existing project, either the budget or the scope or the full funding grant agreement. we're doing that with meetings with the transportation authority, the federal transit administration to keep them up to speed on what we're proposing and why we're proposing it. in concept, we're always looking for a better way to mitigate construction disruption. and, so, the current approach is to evaluate what i believe
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to be a very good option to explore and will be bringing along our funding partners to support us in that decision. >> [speaker not understood]. let's hear from members of the public. i'm sorry, captain chu from supervisor david chiu's office. good afternoon, mr. chu. >> good afternoon. thank you very much, chair nolan, members of the board of directors and director of transportation rifkin. i'm legislative aid for board of supervisors president and district 3 supervisor david chiu. and i'm going to keep my comments relatively brief. you've already covered quite a bit of ground. we want you to hear from our neighbors and businesses in district 3 and the north beach in particular. we have come a long way since may and i want to very much appreciate director rifkin's acknowledgment of the surprise that both our community felt
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and that our office felt when the full scope of the construction impacts, both utility work and the excavation on columbus became known to us in may. we knew that there was an approved extraction of north beach as part of the e-i-r. that's always been in the discussion, but we did not know either the lengthy timeline or the full extent of the closures required and what we feel would be an unacceptable impact on the businesses and residents of north beach. so, i do want to thank director rifkin for that acknowledgment. you'll see, and i think you'll hear today, we have a lot of trust to build between our members and mta. i think the work that's gone on since may will help in that regard. but we really need to keep at it and our office is committed and david is committed to making sure that we do everything we can to both help find an alternative to the existing plan and to make sure that it's effectuate and had becomes a reality. i want to be clear that we -- supervisor chiu has not supported the existing base case and the so-called option 1
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and is very much looking forward to consideration of these other two options in particular. as far as the pagoda goes, we think that is a creative approach that accomplishes the mta's original goal and existing goal of removing the tunnel boring machines from the ground that make sense on its face. and we want to do everything we can to support the agency in pursuit of that option. we have vetted some of those conversations and we'll continue to do everything we can from the city side to help in that regard. we do also fully understand and support the mta's inclination to limit any impediments to a future extension either a station in north beach or extension at fisherman's wharf, which our merchants are supportive of. we want to help -- we support proposals that would limit the impediments and make -- we don't know what that would be. there are a lot of questions. but we support limiting the
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impediments, we fully support grassroots community-based planning, of the that we of course need the mta to be involved in to look at a possible north beach station in phase iii before we understand that the project and the questions before you today are not directly related to that consideration. a few more quick points. we do know that there are some questions about the actual impacts of what the pagoda would look like or option 3 leaving under the ground at columbus and encourage the agency if the board moves forward today and staff then goes back and continues to work on those items, we encourage the agency to flesh out for the community what those options would look like. we also do have some concern about the tight timeline. we fully understand that the agency needs to protect the project overall. supervisor chiu is a supporter of the central subway project, was proud to be there with all of you in october when the forefunding grant agreement was signed. congratulations on that. but we really just don't see the
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existing base cases acceptable to the community. so, i just wanted to raise some questions about the timing. i'm happy to answer any other questions that any of you have about supervisor chiu's position. really appreciate the ongoing relationship. we hope our community members will have a lot of good input for you today and we look forward to hearing from them. thank you very much. >> thank you. we invited mr. chiu to speak on behalf of the supervisor. now we'll begin with members of the public. members of the public who wish to speak please fill out a card. please call the names. >> bonnie choden followed by michael barrett and richard hammond. >> good afternoon, mr. choden. start the overhead, please. i'm [speaker not understood] shoden with [speaker not understood] tomorrow. at the outset i'd like to indicate this proposal is narrowly conceived in that
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while i have offered alternative technical [speaker not understood] if you like that would substantially offset the investments and revenue needs of what is now being proposed, from the beginning the project is, i believe, in violation of the california environmental quality act regarding mitigations required for increasing cost of housing and businesses in chinatown, gentrification, if you will. that is not being addressed from the very beginning. it continues to beck on your recall. if you would look at it, increased revenues would alleviate funding for muni such as [speaker not understood]
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free rides. we suggest you look at this more seriously before you go further doing, if i might, some costs. thank you for your attention. >> thank you. and if you like, [speaker not understood]. >> next speaker, please. >> michael barrett, richard hanlon, james bosworth. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. thank you for having us at this meeting today, the mta board. mr. nolan and all board, i'm michael barrett. i'm a member of save muni. for four years here in san francisco. i'm here to address the central subway construction option of north beach * . our last meeting was november 19th, which has been mentioned,
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when we finally had representatives of the mta present what they plan to do, and nobody in north beach had heard or agreed with any of it. so, i mentioned at that meeting that i have never missed a vote. i've been in this city for 45 years, but i couldn't remember having voted on this project. i was informed correctly that the taxpayers voted for the subway in the late 1990s for a $6 47 million expense, which is now $1.58 billion, with a b. the whole project is too little too late. and the mta has made cost cuts, but prices continue to rise. as required by the federal law, the city of san francisco must pay for all overruns on this project. i ask the mta board what are
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your latest project costs? and how can we continue this new project when our present and regular equipment are continually breaking down, as was mentioned yesterday when 250,000 people were put out of work because of faulty equipment that had not been kept up. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> richard hanlon followed by james bosworth and craig funero. >> good afternoon. good afternoon, directors. my name is richard hanlon. the extraction pit is done at the pagoda and ultimately at some point a station is put there, it would make me very happy. >> thank you. okay. next speaker, please. >> james bosworth, craig fonaro, lance carnes.
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>> good afternoon. hello, my name is james bosworth and i am here in support of the chinatown and north beach business communities in their opposition to the central subway. ever since the construction of this project, this organization known as the mta has been using lies, trickery and deception to economically terrorize the chinatown and north beach business communities by limiting consumer accessibility, by using the construction blockade the mta has been committing larceny against these business communities and will curtail them from enjoying the economic boom from the america's cup. as we all know, this public hearing is a formality. the decision to approve this project has already been made prior to this hearing. it is a huge waste of money because you could have just run rails up concern i street instead.
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the polls are still there where the 16th streetcar were. for what? so you can be reliable for the deaths in an earthquake in a project that uses flawed engineering [speaker not understood]? how can you sleep when you know you pushed the mayor's agenda in chinatown and north beach just as was done in the bayview and hunters point with the t-third? since the mta has decided to approve this project, it is time for the citizens of san francisco to abolish this board by putting in an initiative on the ballot to repeal property e. the mta has lacked integrity by making a nonintelligent decision to build a not needed subway while the rest of the system shrinks. >> next speaker, please. >> craig fonaro, lance carnes,
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steve taylor. >> good afternoon, mr. fonaro. hi, thanks for giving me time to speak. can you hear me? first of all, i want to say that these new options that you have come up with are fabulous if, in fact, they're going to happen. but based on this report that i'm reading, i don't think that they ever will. i don't think february 1st, 2013 is near enough time to take on these new options. and i think that it's funny that february 1st, 2013, is probably two days before you're going to start digging the trench on columbus avenue. also it seems like to me, based on our future or our past business together, that this is an item to a bees us when the real serious matter is paragraph 3, which says, if we can't do options 3 or 4, we're going to


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